Raspberry Almond Vanilla Tea

Today I ran across a post about loose-leaf tea and the many different flavors you can buy it in. The problem— you have to buy it. So I went to David’s tea website and was even more inspired looking at all the different flavors: chocolate cake, pumpkin chai, mango diablo, toasted walnut, and tons more. And what was I thinking seeing pile after pile of various loose teas? yum, Yum, YUM, YUM! Ahhhh, I couldn’t make it through the evening without trying some. So I made my own version out of a few things I happened to have on hand. I used loose black tea, frozen raspberries, chopped almonds, and vanilla extract (this worked, but I think vanilla beans would be even better). It’s great with or without sweetener, though I might recommend either some sugar or honey. Another possibility I thought about trying was cocoa almond.

First, put all the ingredients on some cheesecloth or coffee filter (use a coffee filter if you’re dealing with super fine stuff, like spices or cocoa).

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Then tie up your little bundle…

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and throw it in a pan of hot water. Let it get to a boil, before you turn it off.

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Put in a pitcher with about as much water and drink hot or cold. Yum, yum!

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My cupcake of tea

Yesterday, I made these chai tea cupcakes with condensed milk glaze. I am a chai tea fanatic and a cupcake connoisseur (not really, I just like to say that, but I really do cook cupcakes rather often), so these moist bites are perfection. Since I was making them for a birthday party and there turned out to be fewer than we planned on, I made a batch of mini cheesecakes too. I adore these. They took only about 15 minutes to make, plus baking time, and are so tasty.

Chai tea cupcakes (makes 48 mini or about 20 normal)

3/4 cup Milk

2 bags Black tea (such as Ceylon)

1 cup All purpose flour

1 cup Cake flour (not self raising) sifted

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Coarse salt

1/4 tsp Freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

1/4 tsp ground Cardamom

Pinch of ground Cloves

Pinch of freshly Grated nutmeg

4 tbsp Unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed Dark brown sugar

2 large Eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line mini muffin tins with paper liners.

Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from heat; add tea bags, and let steep, covered, 15 minutes.  Remove tea bags, squeezing the bags over the pan, and discard.  Allow milk to cool completely.  Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, pepper and spices.

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches alternating with two additions of tea-infused milk, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops spring back when lightly touched and are pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.  cupcakes can be frozen up to 1 month in airtight containers.

To finish, dip top of each cupcake in icing then turn over quickly to let set.  Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Condensed Milk Icing

4 tbsp Unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp Sweetened condensed milk

Pinch of coarse salt

3/4 cup Confectioners’ sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, whisk together butter, condensed milk, and salt until smooth.  Whisk in confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until combined, then whisk on high speed until thick and smooth.  Use immediately.

Mini Cheesecakes

 Original Recipe Yield 48 mini cheesecakes

 Ingredients
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line miniature muffin tins (tassie pans) with miniature paper liners.
  2. Crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Top with a teaspoonful of cherry pie filling.